What better way to celebrate the true spirit of Chanukah than to share gifts with the people in our community.  Our school invited several people from our community to visit our classes this week; they included our office staff Miss Karen and Miss Cindy, and some members of Livingston’s Police Department and Fire Department.  Our class gave Miss Cindy a lovely Chanukah plate filled with the cookies they had baked this week.  She was delighted to receive the gift and our appreciation for what she contributes to our community.  She explained to the children how she helps dispense the money to buy the things our school needs.  She then helped the children “light” the Chanukiah and shared her cookies with the children.  Everyone was happy with that!  We also had a visit from two police officers, Officer Kevin and Officer Joy.  It is really great that they and other members of the Police Department have come to visit our school.  It helps the children to feel more comfortable with them.

We continued working on the letter “Hh”,  familiarizing the children with the initial phonetic sound as well as practicing writing both the upper and lower case letters.

The open-ended toys, such as the magnetic rods and balls and wooden blocks allow the children to use their imaginations to create all sorts of real and fantastical creations; a magic wand, a sailing ship, a flower, or a variety of shapes.

Besides providing the ability to create all sorts of things, the wooden blocks foster a great deal of collaborative play.  The Lauren and Emily started building a clinic for the people figures, helping heal their many ailments.  This then evolved into building beds for the figures in the maternity ward so they could give birth to babies.  Uriel, Simon, Lieba, and Ella built a table for their Shabbat candles.  Lieba used a small block and a piece of tinker toy, to create a match and the box to strike the match against, in order to light the Shabbat candles.  Over time both groups collaborated and built a hospital building in which to move the maternity ward.  It was a lovely process to observe.

As a fun way to practice math skills, we gave the children a sheet with a picture of a Menorah, just like the one in the Beit Hamikdash, and circles containing the numbers 1-6 surrounding it.  The children rolled one die and counted the dots on it.  When they figured out the amount of dots they had rolled, they colored in the circle containing the corresponding number. You can play this game with your child at home and instead of coloring the correct numeral, you can place a piece of gelt on each one!!

The children often enjoy drawing their own pictures of whatever their imagination brings them.  Sometimes one child has an idea and as other children join them the idea grows.  Some children started to draw with colored pencils and markers and then Ella began to look at an old educational supply catalog and before you knew it other children joined in and began cutting and pasting pictures from the catalog onto their drawings.  Again, an interesting collaboration with appealing results.

We wish you all a continued happy celebration of Chanukah and a peaceful Shabbat.

Morah Fran and Morah Yafit